Are you tired of visiting tourist traps when you travel abroad? What would a local do differently? If you want a true “people experience” join us on a trip that will allow you to “live” like a local and eat like a local in Taipei and Hong Kong. You will experience the beauty of these cities through the eyes of a native. You will find out where locals shop, eat, and spend their free time. This trip is designed to show participants local customs, culture, and history and explain some of the strange practices that we often see but not truly understand. You will have an unconventional tour experience that will foster a deeper appreciation and understanding of these two cities. The sites and tastes on this trip are what locals will agree to be authentic experiences of their home.
We will begin the trip in Taipei at a leisurely pace. During our stay we will go to the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, be amazed by the treasures at the National Palace Museum, discover different traditions and customs when we visit Lungshan Temple of Manka and spend an evening feasting and shopping at Taipei’s largest night market. Every day we will try out different food dishes all of which locals cannot live without. To recover from all these activities we will take a rejuvenating trip to a hot spring, Taiwan-style. In the evening we will stroll through Ximengding, a trendy and upbeat area in Taipei. Our trip in Taipei will wrap up with a day spent in the beautiful scenic town of Jiufen before we head to Hong Kong.
In Hong Kong, you will learn about the housing situation in this city, which has one of the world’s most expensive real estate markets. Time will be spent in one of the city’s older districts where we will sample comfort food from stores that are long-loved fixtures in Hong Kong and explore streets that are less known by tourists but have deals that often surprise even Hong Kongers. We will get a more modern view of the city when we ride through Hong Kong’s business district on a traditional Hong Kong tram. At Wong Tai Shin Temple we will learn about proper etiquette when visiting a house of the deity. We will stroll through traditional food markets where locals purchase fresh ingredients daily. There will be no lack of opportunities to visit Hong Kong’s various themed streets and night markets such as Sneakers Street. In this gourmet paradise, we will sample local favourites including dim sum, wonton noodles, Hong Kong style cafes, and an assortment of street food. A trip to Hong Kong will not be complete without visiting The Peak to see one of the top three cityscape night views in the world.
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Shirley Ho is a Senior Contracts Specialist at the University of Calgary and holds a BA and Juris Doctor degrees in law, and has traveled to no less than 14 countries. She was born in Hong Kong and spent her early childhood in the former British colony before moving to Canada. She holds permanent resident status in Hong Kong and is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin, visiting the region regularly to stay up-to-date with the local scene. Shirley's knowledge of Hong Kong and Taipei goes "beyond the textbook" and is that of someone born and raised in the culture and region.